China Anti-Graft Teams Report Abuses in Provinces Across Country

Chinese investigators uncovered bribery and irregular lending as part of a graft probe that took them to several provinces, a university and a bank, in findings that underscore the extent of corruption in the country.

Ten teams reporting to China’s anti-corruption watchdog fanned out in May with orders to serve as the Communist Party’s “eyes and ears” in exposing graft at all levels of the party structure, the Ministry of Supervision said in a report on its website yesterday.

The investigation, ordered by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, is a further step to root out corruption that President Xi Jinping has said may threaten Communist Party rule. A government anti-corruption and frugality campaign has targeted lavish spending, illegal property holdings and even the practice of giving mooncakes as gifts during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival.

The 10 teams traveled to four provinces and Chongqing municipality, and visited the Ministry of Water Resources, China Grain Reserves Corp., the Export-Import Bank of China, Renmin University and China Publishing Group Corp.

Chongqing is the municipality where ousted Politburo member Bo Xilai was party secretary before he was ousted in March, 2012. Bo was convicted of abuse of power, bribery and embezzlement Sept. 22. In a visit to Chongqing, one of the corruption teams found a “new atmosphere” in economic and social development since the 18th Communist Party congress, held in November.

Moral Anomie

In Chongqing, some cadres’ faith has “been shaken, their thinking has slipped, there is moral anomie and there is risk of corruption at state-owned enterprises,” according to the report.

At the Export-Import Bank of China, one team found that some people used lending for personal gain and some loans didn’t comply with the rules, according to the statement. The Export-Import Bank and China Development Bank oversee the bulk of loans made to support Chinese businesses across the globe.

The team also found “clues” about problems with some leading cadres at the bank, the report said. Their cases have been transfered to anti-corruption investigators, it said without giving details.

“Some leaders’ awareness of thrift is not strong,” said the head of the Export-Import Bank inspection team, Chen Guanglin, according to the statement.

In Inner Mongolia, the inspection teams found corruption in the allocation of mineral resources and project bidding. Some cadres also received envelopes with cash and presents at weddings and festivals, it said.

— With assistance by Henry Sanderson

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.